FBI Seeks Prolific Robbers of Grocery-Store Banks


The FBI released photos of a "crew" of robbers who've hit 13 Valley banks in recent weeks, 11 of which were at Safeway grocery stores. The crew has become far more prolific lately -- nine of the 13 have been since March 30.

So far, the robberies have been nice and gentle -- just a few envelopes and notes passed back and forth, with verbal demands. The FBI's news release (below) doesn't mention weapons.

Possible payoff for you: US Bank, no doubt tired of getting robbed twice a week, is offering up to $10,000 for info leading to the arrest of the crew members.

News release and more pictures follow:



PHOENIX, Ariz. - Phoenix FBI Special Agent in Charge Nathan Thomas Gray announced today the FBI's Bank Robbery Task Force, Phoenix Division is seeking the public's assistance in identifying a possible crew of serial bank robbers. The alleged serial bank robbers have robbed eleven US Bank branches, One Wells Fargo bank branch and one Chase bank branch.

Eleven of the thirteen bank robberies have occurred inside Safeway grocery stores. During the first five bank robberies the robber handed the victim teller a white envelope demanding the teller's money. A note was used exclusively during the last eight robberies.

The subjects are described as follows: Hispanic males or light skinned Hispanic males, early 20's to mid 30's, 5'8" to 5'10", 160 lbs., skinny to medium build. In some of the robberies the robbers wore black hats. At other times they have worn a bandanna, a striped hat, a gray beanie cap and a beanie cap with a Cardinal's logo.

The US Bank has announced a reward of up to $10,000.00 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone robbing a US Bank. Amount of the reward is determined by the management of Corporate Security and recommendation from law enforcement as the validity of information provided.

The location and dates of the robberies are as follows:

12/05/2008, US Bank, 3450 W. Bell Road, Phoenix 02/20/2009, US Bank, 520 W. Osborn Road, Phoenix 03/04/2009, US Bank, 3450 W. Bell Road, Phoenix 03/06/2009, US Bank, 630 E. Bell Road, Phoenix 03/30/2009, US Bank, 12320 N. 83rd Avenue, Peoria 04/04/2009, US Bank, 15415 N. 65th Place, Phoenix 04/04/2009, Wells Fargo, Bank, 4857 E. Greenway Road, Phoenix 04/07/2009, Chase Bank, 12320 N. 83rd Avenue, Peoria 04/11/2009, US Bank, 3450 W. Bell Road, Phoenix 04/14/2009, US Bank, 630 E. Bell Road, Phoenix 04/15/2009, US Bank, 520 W. Osborn Road, Phoenix 04/16/2009, US Bank, 5100 W. Baseline Road, Phoenix 04/22/2009, US Bank, 4811 N. 83rd Avenue, Phoenix

Please, contact the FBI Phoenix Office at (602) 279-5511 with any information about these bank robberies.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.